Graduating senior Sara Neema arrived in America in the summer of 2013 knowing little about her new country or new school.
With the help of teachers, though, she found that she loved classes, particularly math. And while she went on to be very successful in that subject, she wishes she could have learned what she did earlier.
“I took all of the required math classes and more. I mean, it’s better than history. If I took even more mathematics I could be in like AP calculus instead of just calculus,” she said.
She essentially combined her freshman and sophomore year, she explained. “And I only took, like, some classes and if I was, like, to go back I should’ve taken, like, double. So that way I could be in a higher class right now, you know.”
Neema succeeded in part because she wasn’t afraid to seek out help from teachers when she needed it. She said it bothered her when peers complained about not understanding something but then didn’t ask for help.
“It goes both ways,” she pointed out. “Teachers need to be more approachable.”
But classes were not all she focused on during her time at Concord High School.
“I made a lot of friends through the Be the Change Club,” she said.
Neema said club members talk about all kinds of different cultures when they meet. “So it’s just like talking about, like, where you’re from, and how was it, and what changed from where you came from to coming here and stuff like that.”
Working at Walmart outside school meant she was unable to find time to play soccer for CHS, something she would like to have done. She had played a lot of soccer back when she lived in Africa and now plays just for fun with her younger brother.
Neema, who is already taking some college classes, said she is ready to begin life after high school though her years at CHS were important ones. “I learned a lot and gain more experience I never had before.”
“I’m not really worried about staying in touch with friends. That’s what social media is for and I have no doubt we’ll reconnect. But, uh, yeah, I’ll definitely miss some of my teachers.”
Neema will attend The College of Saint Rose in New York in the fall and plans on putting her amazing math skills to good use by possibly majoring in accounting.